Is Worth It?


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A large technology customer just switched from one CRM to another.  Complaints were consistent from the old system. “It took too long to enter data,” or “It doesn’t help me.”  “It just allows management to micro-manage me.” Enter the new system.  Excitement was high and sales people were looking forward to ‘being enabled.’  18 months later they are hearing similar complaints they heard from the old system.  All that effort, time and money for not a lot of increased productivity. 

Why did this happen?

Download our How to Make Your Number in 2015 Research Report to find out why. It goes into detail why Systems (CRM’s) can actually waste productivity.  And what you need to do before you buy the software.

CRM systems can have a dramatic impact on sales productivity.  For example, when used correctly they can:

  • Help a sales person perform mundane tasks easily.
  • Reinforce a sales process.
  • Assist in a demand generation campaign.
  • Capture essential information on your customers.
  • Calculate commissions.

Then why is the most popular CRM ( seldom used correctly by sales people? is an excellent CRM.  But it’s excellent for those sales forces who enable it for the sales person.  But most sales people think it’s only for management.  Management can ‘watch’ over them.  They can forecast better or keep track of sales calls more efficiently.  They can even tell if you have been going on enough sales calls.

But do any of these reasons actual enable the sales person?

There are three major steps every Sales VP must take to maximize their CRM:

  1. Build the Process First: Repeatedly we see the CRM ROI document state how much ‘productivity’ will increase. The pre-purchase sales pieces quote customers indicating huge revenue increases. Statements such as ‘improved win rate’ or ‘higher average sales price’ are used.  They try to prove its value.  And the CRM gets purchased without a defined process for it to be used. 
    • The real value comes when you create a process first. You then enable it with a tool. Click here to view the following example. A sales process was created and customized first. The CRM was then enabled by embedding the process in it.  When a sales person used the CRM, they were using the process.  Adoption went up because the CRM helped the sales person sell more. 
  1. Use it as your Sales and Marketing Platform: Everything should flow through the CRM.  Nothing is ever ‘outside’ of the system.  Rogue items can include content, sales collateral, customer complaints, territory management and commission tracking. These should all be in the system. Using it has a foundation ensures process and program adoption.  No matter what the process or program.
    • Test your current CRM status by answering these questions:
      • Is your sales process embedded in the CRM?
      • Can a sales person find out his commissions that month?
      • Is all sales enablement content stored in the CRM for easy access?
      • Do qualified leads easily flow through the CRM?
      • Is there more than 3 steps needed to enter/update an opportunity? 
  1. It is not Big Brother: They won’t use it if the sales rep feels as if you are micro-managing. This is most apparent when you forecast. We repeatedly hear that sales reps don’t put their opportunities in until late stage.  No one wants to be managed by their deals.  The thought is pretty clear:  “The later I enter in opportunities, the later I get asked about them.”
    • Develop your sales, forecasting and pipeline process before implementing it through a CRM. If you don’t, it won’t be accurate.  Your pipeline will be either inflated or devalued forcing loss productivity.  The CRM will become a management tool.

So, Is (or any CRM) worth it?  

The answer is yes if you apply the three steps above.  Do these things now:

  • Create the programs and processes first. Think Sales Process, Forecasting and Pipeline as well as Demand Generation.
  • Place these programs and processes into the CRM. So when your ales person enters in an opportunity, they immediately use the process.
  • Reinforce these processes by using the CRM to coach your people. Your Sales Manager can look into the CRM and provide on the spot coaching. This type of micro-coaching produces sustained results.

The motto “Build it and they will come” does not apply here.  Real productivity gains can be made if you have a sales and marketing strategy.  Having trouble with the three steps above?  Don’t know what a sales and marketing strategy should be? Download the Research Report.  It just might save your CRM.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dan Perry
Dan is an industry thought leader with more than 25 years of experience in b-to-b field sales, sales management, and sales operations. Dan has delivered domestic and international results for companies such as Hewlett Packard, Terremark Worldwide, Dow Jones, Activant Solutions, Kronos, CDS Global, Microsemi.


  1. Dan, you make some valid points and rightly mention that this is a CRM technology wide issue – not just It’s easy for prospects to get sucked into the sheer excitement of a new shiny system but most of the time they don’t know how to achieve the outcomes using cloud technology. Coaching is such a key element and glad you raised that!


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